Trump critic Barry Diller feels humbled by close election


Barry Diller

Mike Newberg | CNBC

Billionaire media mogul Barry Diller told CNBC Wednesday morning he doesn’t think the outcome of the still close presidential election will have “any effect on business.”

If anything, “government’s going to be divided. That’s probably good for business,” said Diller, a major Democratic donor and critic of President Donald Trump, in a “Squawk Box” interview. “The hordes of liberal policies and taxation and all this stuff, forget it, that’s gone for now. Probably for at least four years.”

Diller, chairman of Expedia and IAC, said he was “humbled” by the results so far. “I had hoped for a repudiation” of Trump, said Diller, “for all the reasons that are kind of obvious. That has not happened.”

Neither candidate has earned the necessary 270 electoral votes to win yet, but Biden has 224 votes and Trump has 213 as of earlier Wednesday morning, according to NBC News projections. Vote counts are still coming in multiple states still too close to call, like Pennsylvania and Michigan.

“If Joe Biden does prevail it will be with the thinnest of margins and probably a lot of controversy,” said Diller. “It clearly will be that there is no progressive agenda that’s got any steam behind it, given what is likely to happen with a divided Congress.”

Whether the Democrats will be able to take the Senate remains in question, but Republicans won key races in Iowa and Montana, according to NBC. The Democrats are projected to retain control of the House.

“It’s a failure on the part of the Democrats,” said Diller. “What we’ve tried to do obviously in these last years is to point out the reasons why we think Trump is a bad character, and I’m not talking about morals, I’m just talking about lying… And yet at least half the people have said no.”

Biden leads in the popular vote by 68.5 million votes to Trump’s 65.9 million, according to NBC News, with 85% of the expected vote already tallied as of Wednesday morning.

“Four years ago I thought, wow we’re scraping the bottom — now we really are at the bottom,” Diller said. “From the bottom in a way you can say there’s hope, but there’s only hope frankly if there’s real humility on the side of — I wouldn’t even call it progressive but I would certainly call it Democrats — about what they’ve done wrong.”

“Whatever happens, he is a force,” said Diller, referring to Trump. “What he represents is a force. It has to be respected.”

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